Bridging civilizations: The journey of Africa and China towards a shared future

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 10 April 2024 at 01:26

Rahamtalla M. Osman, the Permanent Representative of the African Union to China, has highlighted the imperative to uphold the ethos of collaborative engagement between Africa and China, advocating for its continual enrichment and expansion as a collective responsibility.

Speaking at the 3rd Conference on Dialogue Between Chinese and African Civilizations held on April 9, 2024, at the China-African Institute in Beijing, he articulated his optimism regarding the conference’s potential to serve as a pivotal platform fostering enhanced cooperation and consensus consolidation.

This year’s forum, themed "Inheritance, Sharing, Development: Towards a High-level China-Africa Community with a Shared Future," not only mirrors the mutual aspirations of China and Africa but also charts the course for future collaborative endeavors, Rahamtalla observed.

The forum coincided with the 5th anniversary of the China-Africa Institute, highlighting its significant impact over the past five years.

The institute has enhanced cooperation between Africa and China, encouraged mutual learning between their cultures, and fostered understanding and friendship among their peoples. This success is due to the institute’s diverse educational activities and valuable research outcomes.

Rahamtalla expressed anticipation for the institute’s future endeavors, envisioning even greater achievements that would contribute substantially to fostering amicable cooperation between Africa and China.

Furthermore, he underscored the African Union’s commitment to maintaining a robust cooperative relationship with the China-Africa Institute, facilitating exchanges and collaboration between Chinese and African think tanks.

In emphasizing the importance of dialogue among diverse civilizations, particularly in today’s complex and interconnected world, Rahamtalla highlighted its role in fostering effective understanding, mutual respect, and cooperation among different cultures and societies, thereby fostering global peace, tranquility, and progress.

Rahamtalla stressed the timeliness of the dialogue as Africa and China jointly endeavor towards a high-level community with a shared future, emphasizing the imperative of sharing opportunities and development achievements.

Touching upon the significance of cultural inheritance, Rahamtalla underscored the rich legacies of both African and Chinese civilizations, which have historically shaped human civilization. He highlighted the enduring history of friendly exchanges between Africa and China and emphasized the shared responsibility to perpetuate and expand this relationship for future generations.

Rahamtalla also reiterated the African Union’s commitment to collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the China-Africa Institute to contribute to the preservation and development of African and Chinese civilizations, as well as to the construction of a high-level community with a shared future for Africa and China.

According to Liu Yuxi, a representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs, the conference’s theme is grounded in the principles of solidarity and mutual learning aimed at shaping a collective future.

He reaffirmed China’s dedication to cooperation devoid of interference in trade, investment, or mutual assistance, emphasizing the nation’s adherence to fairness and justice in its collaborations with Africa.

China has remained Africa’s largest trading partner for 15 consecutive years, with bilateral trade reaching a record 282.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2023.

Rahamtalla M. Osman, the Permanent Representative of the African Union to China delivering remarks.
The conference brought together experts, scholars and officials from UN, Africa and China.